The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) introduced a new public register of financial services professionals called the Directory. This will go live with information on banks and insurers from March 2020, and FCA solo-regulated firms from December 2020.
Under the Senior Managers & Certification Regime (SM&CR), which took effect on 9 December 2019, only Senior Managers will be approved by the FCA. Certification individuals will now be assessed, approved and certified by the authorised firm that they work for.
The Financial Services Register (FS Register) will cease to list certification individuals who were formerly holders of control functions (CF) as “active”, but will instead display the text “Regulatory approval no longer required” alongside the names of certification individuals.
An “End Date” of (Sunday) 08/12/2019 will be displayed in the History page of the FS Register (Controlled functions - previous).
For 12 months, between 9 December 2019 and December 2020, the actual status of certification individuals will be invisible and the public cannot easily verify an individual’s status. This period of ‘limbo’ is a worry for the industry and for the investment community. Whilst members of the public can still contact the authorised company directly for verification, the lack of online visibility will be highly inconvenient for one and all, for these 12 months.
When the Directory goes live, it will include more individuals than just the CF individuals because more individuals will be captured under the certification regime. This effort is part of the continued drive for more transparency and accountability in the financial services industry.
Firms have 7 business days to update the Directory information on joiners, leavers and changes in circumstances.
Firms are responsible for the uploading of information of their certification individuals into the Directory using the FCA’s Connect system or the multi-entry facility. Banking firms and insurers should already be able to start submitting data since September 2019, and all other firms should be able to start submitting data from 9 December 2019.
Full details regarding the Directory, and the information that is required for updating into the Directory, can be found in Policy Statement PS19/7.